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I wrote:

Each pattern can be either specified for data extraction or to restrict the occurrence of nested patterns.

If the pattern is (was or has been ?) specified for data extraction, we extract its content...

I used "be specified for something" to mean the purpose of each pattern, is it a correct usage of "specify"? What are other ways to say such sentences?

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  • What are you trying to say? – dramzy Aug 28 '15 at 14:04
  • @RespectMyAuthoritah to mean "the purpose of something", for example "this is specified for this work", "that is specified for that work" – Ahmad Aug 28 '15 at 14:08
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I think that the "either" in the first sentence is misplaced. For better semantic flow of the sentence, put it after "specified":

Each pattern can be specified either for data extraction or to restrict the occurrence of nested patterns.

Yes, you can use "specified" to indicate the purpose.


The sentence

Something can be specified either for one thing or to do the other thing.

Can be alternatively written as

Something ... designated for either one thing or doing the other thing.
Something ... for either extracting the data or restricting the occurrence of...

Perhaps the last one is better, but it's for you to decide.

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  • Thank you, what about the second part of question? – Ahmad Aug 28 '15 at 15:04

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